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PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION

Acupuncture by Kim Wells

Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine.

Although best known for its treatment of painful ailments such as back ache, migraine and osteoarthritis of the knee, its relevance extends to a much wider range of symptoms and their underlying conditions. In certain circumstances it can be an effective therapy to restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony. 

Members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) practise acupuncture based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,000 years. The BAcC currently registers over 3,000 qualified practitioners.

Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains like osteoarthritis of the knee. Some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others choose acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies and children. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.

How it Works
Acupuncture works to help maintain your body's equilibrium. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of qi, your body's vital energy.

For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons, qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which can result in some symptoms of some pain and illness or disease. In certain instances, traditional acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.

Treatment is aimed at the root cause of the condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feeling of well being. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves.

What Can Acupuncture Do For Me?

Some people turn to acupuncture for help with a specific symptoms or condition. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventative measure, or to improve their general sense of well-being. Acupuncture aims to balance the mind as well as the body.

Because traditional acupuncture aims to treatment the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of conditions.
This approach also means that each patient's treatment plan will be different. However, you can always ask your practitioner about other patients' experiences, to give you an idea of what to expect. Many people return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.

Moxibustion & Cupping
Another way of stimulating acupuncture points is moxibustion. This involves warming the point by burning a herb called "moxa". It may be used, for instance, in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. The use of suction cups is another technique often used on the shoulders and back.

Healing Mind and Body
As well as healing the body, acupuncture can also help to harmonise the emotions, calm and clear the mind and strengthen the spirit. It can treat depression, anxiety, insomnia and irritability. It is ideal for treating stress-related problems and for premenstrual syndrome.

Conditions that Respond to Treatment with Acupuncture
Acupuncture may be used to treat a wide range of complaints including headaches; ear, eye and throat problems; toothache; sinusitis; asthma; bronchitis; hay fever; heart disease; angina; hypertension; ulcers; indigestion; diarrhoea; constipation; cystitis; thrush; prostatitis; period problems; menopausal problems; arthritis; back pain; sciatica; RSI; sporting injuries; weak immune system; lack of energy ME; anxiety; insomnia; depression; addictions; eczema; acne; psoriasis; children's diseases.

Can acupuncture help me to give up smoking?
Acupuncture can be very effective in helping to relieve the withdrawal symptoms experienced by those giving up tobacco. As a result of treatment, the craving and other symptoms such as irritability and agitation become less pronounced. However, these symptoms will still often be noticed, so a person's determination to succeed is still called for. This is why Kim offers counselling and support during this process and advises people to prepare for giving up. As part of this preparation, he recommends reading "The Easy Way to Give Up Smoking" by Alan Carr. Most people find this book enormously helpful both before and during the giving up process.

Safety

In two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal, the conclusions reached were almost identical. The risk of a serious adverse event from acupuncture treatment is less than 1 in 10,000. In the combined total of 66,000 treatments there were only a handful of minor and transient adverse events. A 2003 patient survey in which over 6,000 patients took part revealed similar findings.  This makes acupuncture one of the safest medical treatments, including conventional and complementary, on offer in the UK today.

Kim uses only disposable needles that come packaged in sterile containers. Each needle is immediately discarded after use. Hence there is absolutely no risk of cross infection. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short lived.

What Does It Feel Like?

The fear of needles that some people have is often based on experiences with the needles used to give injections or withdraw blood. Acupuncture needles are much, much finer than these. A slight prick may be felt when the needle goes through the skin. When the needle reaches the acupuncture point there should be sensation of tugging or a dull ache. (Unless this is felt, the needle has not made contact with the energy at the point.) This sensation usually lasts a short time and is generally acceptable.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

Frequency and number of sessions depend on your individual condition. Some change is usually felt within five or six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient. Some people choose to have regular acupuncture to main good health.

Patients on Medication

Acupuncture (and herbal treatment) can be given alongside medication prescribed by your doctor. Where it is possible and desirable, acupuncture can help you to reduce or eliminate your drug intake, although this should be done with the knowledge and cooperation of your doctor.

 

Kim Wells practices Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine at the Haelan Clinic. He also uses acupuncture combined with herbs to help people to stop smoking.

To book an appointment please contact Kim directly on 07949 671 440. or call the Haelan Clinic on 020 8340 1518. Please note that 24 hours notice is required for cancellations or a fee will be charged.
For more information see www.wellsacupuncture.co.uk

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